What Makes A Meal Enjoyable?

Tara Donovan Styrofoam

How can senses other than taste contribute to a great meal? It’s a question that the folks over at the Cooking Architecture blog have been asking as they host dinner parties. But these aren’t your typical dinner parties, there are dinner parties in the dark, or dinner parties with tightly controlled acoustics so you can better hear yourself eating. I think I would get a little grossed out hearing myself chew that much, even though I would be fascinated to hear the foodstuffs moving through my stomach and into my intestines. To help dampen the sound around the table for their dinner party, architects Claire and Juan covered the ceiling of their dining room with thousands of styrofoam cups (hence the image of a Tara Donovan installation made with styrofoam cups) and they passed out earplugs to their guests.

I think what their experiments with sensory restriction are really about is creating an immediacy with food. But it doesn’t work for all the senses: restricting the sense of smell during a meal would probably make the food taste much more flat, and meals certainly wouldn’t be as enjoyable if all the food had the same texture. It wasn’t until I started reading about their parties that I realized how much the company of good friends enhances the whole experience of eating for me. I’ve been to great dinner parties that had almost nothing to do with the food, and sometimes were great in spite of the food. Still, the idea of a dinner party in the dark sounds like a good idea even if I’m not willing to turn my ceiling into a silent sea of styrofoam cups.

Alex Dent

January 18, 2013 / By

Happy Food by Yum Yum London

Happy Food by Yum Yum London

Happy Food by Yum Yum London

Happy Food by Yum Yum London

This charming little animated spot by Yum Yum London is short but full of detail. This multidisciplinary London studio has a distinct sensibility for character design that works just as well in its toys as in its warm, stylized 3D worlds. This story of ketchup conundrum is filled with expressive extras that give each character a surprising amount of personality in the short timeframe. I love the zoned-out guy behind the counter staring at the hot dog rotisserie and the girl taking video on her phone of the aftermath of the ketchup blast before the camera even gets back to it. Yum Yum has some great collectable toys, including the hot dog guy, for sale on their site here.

Skip Hursh

January 18, 2013 / By

Smorgasboard – A Beautifully Illustrated Board Game For Foodies

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Steve Simpson - Smorgasboard 2

Steve Simpson - Smorgasboard 3

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Steve Simpson - Smorgasboard 4

Smorgasboard is a fantastic new board game for foodies. The aim of the game is to be the first team of chefs to graduate from Rick’s Culinary Academy and achieve gastronomic success! To do this, teams of 2 or more are set a series of challenges which involve tasks like drawing food-related words without letting the pencil leave the paper or spotting the ‘missing ingredient’ in a classic recipe. The game has a great selection of tasks on offer and if you’re a fan of team-based board games then this is certaintly one which is well worth adding to your games cabinet.

What I like most of all about it is how it looks. Illustrated and designed by the Irish-based illustrator Steve Simpson, Smorgasboard is the type of game that really catches your eye. Filled with rich colors, great looking characters and fantastic details, it’s the sort of game which is just perfect for playing with friends that you’ve invited around for dinner. You can find out more about the game (and buy a copy) online here. And also make sure to take a look at Steve’s Behance page where he gives a great insight into the project and shows off the game in all its wonderful detail.

Philip Kennedy

January 18, 2013 / By

Gaming: The Gourmet Way

Gourmet Gaming

Gourmet Gaming

Contrary to popular belief, not all gamers consume hot pockets and never leave their parents basement. Proper fuel is needed for gaming. After all, a promised reward is a fictious motivator. With the proliferation of food and cosplay, it would only make sense to bring the food from the screen into reality. So leave it to the creative crew at Gourmet Gaming to bring the fantasy to life. They dare you to sip the potion from Amnesia: The Dark Descent. But did you ever want to chug a health potion from Diablo? Or try your Pokemon‘s favorite Poffin? With recipes abound, shake things up for your next LAN party. Just remember: The Cake is a Lie.

Portal Cake

Alec Rojas

January 18, 2013 / By

Incredible Looking Foie Gras Takoyaki by Luxirare

Incredible Looking Foie Gras Takoyaki by Luxirare

Incredible Looking Foie Gras Takoyaki by Luxirare

Incredible Looking Foie Gras Takoyaki by Luxirare

Upping the creative ante with foods is always an interesting experience, but the amazing creation above might just take the cake. This is a posh take on the takoyaki, a ball shaped, Japanese street food which are usually filled with octopus or ginger. Instead, these are a foie gras, scallop, caviar version drizzled with takoyaki sauce and truffle oil. Decadent, right?

They were created by Luxirare who has an amazing knack for creating (and documenting) the most amazing foods you’ve ever seen. If the images above get you salivating I suggest you take a visit and prepare yourself to get hungry.

Bobby Solomon

January 18, 2013 / By

FUD by Elsa Lang

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FUD by Elsa Lang 2

“Blanabbas, urngs and purs!” You really just can’t beat some misspelled food. The Portland-based illustrator and designer Elsa Lang agrees and – inspired by the FUD meme – she’s made some fantastic FUD wallpapers. Don’t try and get either of us to explain why misspelled food is so funny… it just is!

Many of you might know Elsa from her work with Always With Honor (where she designs and illustrates with her husband Tyler and their dog Zoe). Her FUD wallpaper was made a few years ago and I just really love it. You can download a copy of it here. If you don’t download it you could end up with agg on your face!

Update: The other day Always With Honor created another great food-related illustration and so I thought I’d tag it on to the end of this post. It’s a portrait of Julia Child, one of Elsa’s favorite people of all time! It’s a great portrait and it really captures the character of Child. You can download it as a phone wallpaper here.

Always With Honor - Julia Child

Philip Kennedy

January 17, 2013 / By

Micro-Macro: A Video About Everything, Told With Food

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Here is a quick jump across several orders of magnitude: from subatomic particles to multiple universes, all with the help of edible and mostly delicious foods. I’ve never eaten an organism’s lungs (at least that I’m aware of, although I did eat a lot of chicken nuggets growing up and who knows what’s in those things) but it somehow makes perfect sense to see respirating leaves taking their place. The video is the work of Encyclopedia Pictura and you can read more about the video by clicking here.

Alex Dent

January 17, 2013 / By

The Elegant Touch of Food Affection – A Film Review of ‘A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrand’

A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt

There are two types of people in this world – those who can control themselves around food and those who cannot. I happen to be one of the joyful gluttons who cannot. In an ideal world, my voracious eating habits would be seen as gourmand or sensualist. In reality, if there is one last morsel of bread left in the basket I will make it my steadfast mission to toast it, dip in chocolate sauce, melt 12 year-old cheddar into its spongy core, or encapsulate it in sweet strawberry jam. It will be eaten, and it can get ugly, but I’m prepared to defend my passions. After all, if nothing else, food is emotional.

Continue reading this post…

Christina Stimpson

January 17, 2013 / By

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